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UY vs SANDIGANBAYAN

FACTS:
> Motion for Further Clarification filed by Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto of the
Court's ruling in its decision that the prosecutory power of the Ombudsman extends
only to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and that the Ombudsman has no
authority to prosecute cases falling within the jurisdiction of regular courts.
ISSUE:

(1) of RA 6770 is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent


authority in respect of the offense charged. Thus, Administrative Order No. 8 issued
by the Office of the Ombudsman provides:
The prosecution of case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan shall be under the direct
exclusive control and supervision of the Office of the Ombudsman. In cases
cognizable by regular Courts, the control and supervision by the Office of the
Ombudsman is only in Ombudsman cases in the sense defined (therein). The law
recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the Ombudsman and
other investigative agencies of government in the prosecution of cases cognizable
by regular courts.

Whether or not the "primary jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman over
cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan" is not a delimitation of its jurisdiction solely
to Sandiganbayan cases?

FABIAN vs DESIERTO

RULING:

> Teresita G. Fabian was the major stockholder and president of PROMAT
Construction Development Corporation (PROMAT) which was engaged in the
construction business. Private respondents Nestor V. Agustin was the incumbent
District Engineering District (FMED) when he allegedly committed the offenses for
which he was administratively charged in the Office in the office of the Ombudsman.
> Promat participated in the bidding for government construction project including
those under the FMED, and private respondent, reportedly taking advantage of his
official position, inveigled petitioner into an amorous relationship. Their affair lasted
for some time, in the course of which private respondents gifted PROMAT with public
works contracts.
> Later, misunderstanding and unpleasant incidents developed between the parties
and when petitioner tried to terminate their relationship, private respondent refused
and resisted her attempts to do so to the extent of employing acts of harassment,
intimidation and threats. She eventually filed the aforementioned administrative case
against him.
> The said complaint sought the dismissal of private respondent.
> Graft Investigator issued a resolution finding private respondents guilty of grave
misconduct and ordering his dismissal from the service with forfeiture of all benefits
under the law.
> Ombudsman, in an Order approved the aforesaid resolution.

YES. We held that the Ombudsman is clothed with authority to conduct


preliminary investigation and to prosecute all criminal cases involving public officers
and employees, not only those within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, but
those within the jurisdiction of the regular courts as well.
The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute offenses committed
by public officers and employees is founded in Section 15 and Section 11 of RA
6770. Section 15 vests the Ombudsman with the power to investigate and prosecute
any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such
act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient.
The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is
plenary and unqualified. It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or
employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or
inefficient. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. It has been held that the
clause any illegal act or omission of any public official is broad enough to embrace
any crime committed by a public officer or employee.

FACTS:

ISSUE:
Finally, it must be clarified that the authority of the Ombudsman to prosecute cases
involving public officers and employees before the regular courts does not conflict
with the power of the regular prosecutors under the Department of Justice to control
and direct the prosecution of all criminal actions under Rule 110 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Rules of Court must be read in conjunction with
RA 6770 which charged the Ombudsman with the duty to investigate and prosecute
all illegal acts and omissions of public officers and employees. The Court held in the
case of Sanchez vs. Demetriou that the power of the Ombudsman under Section 15

Whether or not the appeal from the Ombudsman will go to CA or SC?


RULING:
It will be the CA.
It overlooks the fact that by jurisprudential developments over the years, this Court
has allowed appeals by certiorari under Rule 45 in a substantial number of cases

and instances even if questions of fact are directly involved and have to be resolved
by the appellate court.
Taking all the foregoing circumstances in their true legal roles and effects, therefore,
Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6770 cannot validly authorize an appeal to this Court
from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases.
It consequently violates the proscription in Section 30, Article VI of the Constitution
against a law which increases the Appellate jurisdiction of this Court. No
countervailing argument has been cogently presented to justify such disregard of the
constitutional prohibition which was intended to give this Court a measure of control
over cases placed under its appellate Jurisdiction. Otherwise, the indiscriminate
enactment of legislation enlarging its appellate jurisdiction would unnecessarily
burden the Court.
In determining whether a rule prescribed by the Supreme Court, for the practice and
procedure of the lower courts, abridges, enlarges, or modifies any substantive right,
the test is whether the rule really regulates procedure, that is, the judicial process for
enforcing rights and duties recognized by substantive law and for justly administering
remedy and redress for a disregard or infraction of them. [31] If the rule takes away a
vested right, it is not procedural. If the rule creates a right such as the right to appeal,
it may be classified as a substantive matter; but if it operates as a means or
implementing an existing right then the rule deals merely with procedure. [32]
In the situation under consideration, a transfer by the Supreme Court, in the
exercise of its rule-making power, of pending cases involving a review of decisions of
the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary actions to the Court of
Appeals which shall now be vested with exclusive appellate jurisdiction thereover,
relates to procedure only.[33] This is so because it is not the right to appeal of an
aggrieved party which is affected by the law. That right has been preserved. Only the
procedure by which the appeal is to be made or decided has been changed. The
rationale for this is that litigant has a vested right in a particular remedy, which may
be changed by substitution without impairing vested rights, hence he can have none
in rules of procedure which relate to the remedy.[34]
Furthermore, it cannot be said that transfer of appellate jurisdiction to the Court of
Appeals in this case is an act of creating a new right of appeal because such power
of the Supreme Court to transfer appeals to subordinate appellate courts is purely a
procedural and not a substantive power. Neither can we consider such transfer as
impairing a vested right because the parties have still a remedy and still a competent
tribunal to administer that remedy.
Thus, it has been generally held that rules or statutes involving a transfer of cases
from one court to another, are procedural and remedial merely and that, as such,
they are applicable to actions pending at the time the statute went into effect [36] or, in
the case at bar, when its invalidity was declared. Accordingly, even from the
standpoint of jurisdiction ex hypothesi the validity of the transfer of appeals in said
cases to the Court of Appeals can be sustained.

MACALALAG vs OMBUDSMAN
FACTS:
> Private respondent Pablo Aloro lodged with the Office of the Ombudsman for
Visayas a complaint for dishonesty against the petitioner Jessie Macalalag, an
employee of the Philippine Postal Corporation.
> The petitioner was directed to file his answer but he did not bother to file any.
Instead, when the case was called for preliminary conference, he sent a telegram
requesting for postponement. Again, no position paper was ever submitted by him.
Accordingly, the investigator was constrained to resolve the case on the basis solely
of the evidence furnished by the private respondent.
> Private respondent is a retired employee receiving a monthly pension from the
Social Security System. He failed to receive his pension checks. When he went to
Bacolod City Post Office to verify about the matter, he learned that his missing
checks were taken by the petitioner, an employee of the Philippine Postal
Corporation in Bacolod City, who endorsed and encashed them for his personal
benefit. When confronted by the private respondent, the petitioner issued to the
former his personal check in payment of the checks. However, when the private
complainant presented the check for payment, it was dishonored by the drawee
bank for having been drawn against insufficient funds.
> The petitioner was declared administratively liable and ordered dismissed from the
service with forfeiture of all benefits and disqualification from government service.
> The petitioner next appealed to the Supreme Court by way of a petition for review
on certiorari but was dismissed.
> Petitioner filed an action for annulment of judgment with the Court of Appeals on
the ground that "the gross ignorance, negligence and incompetence of petitioner's
former lawyer deprived petitioner of his day in court but was also dismissed for lack
of jurisdiction.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over actions for
annulment of decisions or orders of the Ombudsman in administrative cases?
RULING:
YES. Section 27 of Republic Act No. (R.A.) 6770, also known as The
Ombudsman Act of 1989, provides that orders, directives and decisions of the
Ombudsman in administrative cases are appealable to the Supreme Court via Rule
45 of the Rules of Court.
In Fabian v. Desierto, the Court has declared Section 27 of the Act to be
unconstitutional since it expands the Supreme Court's jurisdiction without its
advice and consent required under Article VI, Section 30, of the 1987

Constitution. Hence, all appeals from decisions of the Ombudsman in


administrative disciplinary cases are instead to be taken to the Court of
Appeals under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule is
reiterated in Administrative Circular No. 99-2-01-SC.
Parenthetically, R.A. 6770 is silent on the remedy of annulment of judgments or final
orders and resolutions of the Ombudsman in administrative cases. In Tirol, Jr. v.
Del Rosario, the Court has held that since The Ombudsman Act specifically deals
with the remedy of an aggrieved party from orders, directives and decisions of the
Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases only, the right to appeal is not to be
considered granted to parties aggrieved by orders and decisions of the Ombudsman
in criminal or non-administrative cases. The right to appeal is a mere statutory
privilege and may be exercised only in the manner prescribed by, and in accordance
with, the provisions of law. There must then be a law expressly granting such right. 11
This legal axiom is also applicable and even more true in actions for annulment of
judgments which is an exception to the rule on finality of judgments.
Moreover, petitioner may no longer resort to the remedy of annulment of judgment
after having filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. Neither can he claim that he is
not bound by his lawyer's actions; it is only in case of gross or palpable negligence
of counsel when the courts can step in and accord relief to a client who would have
suffered thereby.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs CA


FACTS:
> Municipal Councilor of Carmen, Cebu, filed a complaint with the Office of the
Deputy Ombudsman, public officials of Carmen, Cebu, entered into several irregular
and anomalous transactions in their official capacity.
> Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas found Barriga guilty of misconduct
and imposed on her the penalty of six months suspension from the service.
> Upon review, petitioner Office of the Ombudsman modified the decision and found
Barriga guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and imposed
on her the penalty of suspension for one year.
> Barriga filed a motion for reconsideration which petitioner denied.
> Barriga filed a petition for review with the CA, was denied for lack of merit.
> Barriga then elevated the case to the Supreme Court.
> Petitioner, through the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas, again
directed the municipal mayor of Carmen, Cebu to implement the Order of
suspension.
> Barriga made a request that the implementation of the penalty of one-year
suspension be held in abeyance pending the issuance of the entry of judgment by
this Court which was denied by the petitioner; then challenge the order with CA
through petition for review.
> CA modified its earlier decision and declared as null and void the orders of
petitioner.
> CA explained that the acts of petitioner went beyond mere recommendation but
rather imposed upon the mayor to implement the order of suspension which run
counter to its authority. The appellate court said that the immediate implementation
of petitioners Order was premature pending resolution of the appeal .
> Pursuant to the CAs Resolution, reinstated Barriga as municipal accountant.
> Petitioner (Office of the Ombudsman) filed a Motion for Reconsideration and raised
the issue of finality of the Ombudsmans Decision.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion in
nullifying the orders of the Office of the Ombudsman to the municipal mayor of
Carmen, Cebu for the immediate implementation of the penalty of suspension from
service of respondent Barriga even though the case was pending on appeal?
RULING:
YES. Petitioner submits that the Office of the Ombudsman is possessed with
jurisdiction to entertain an administrative complaint against a public official and if
found guilty, has the authority to impose a penalty and implement the decision.
Petitioner explains that the implementation of administrative sanctions over erring

public officials is not merely advisory in nature but is actually mandatory within the
bounds of law.
An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. In case the penalty
is suspension or removal and the respondent wins such appeal, he shall be
considered as having been under preventive suspension and shall be paid the salary
and such other emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the suspension or
removal.
A decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative cases shall be
executed as a matter of course. The Office of the Ombudsman shall ensure that
the decision shall be strictly enforced and properly implemented. The refusal or
failure by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Office of the
Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, or censure shall be a ground for
disciplinary action against said officer.
It is clear from the provision that when a public official has been found guilty of an
administrative charge by the Office of the Ombudsman and the penalty imposed is
suspension for more than a month, just like in the present case, an appeal may be
made to the CA. However, such appeal shall not stop the decision from being
executory and the implementation of the decision follows as a matter of course.
Thus, the Ombudsmans order imposing on Barriga the penalty of suspension from
office for one year without pay is immediately executory even pending appeal in the
Court of Appeals.

GOLANGCO vs FUNG
FACTS:
> Respondent is an employee of the Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration (POEA).
> The DOLE Secretary referred the letter-complaint to the POEA Administrator who
instructed the POEA Licensing and Regulation Office, headed by respondent, to
conduct an on-the-spot investigation of the activities of G&M (Phil.) Inc. and to verify
in particular the placement fee being charged as alleged in the letter-complaint.
> Petitioner Golangco and Encenada were charged with violation of Articles 29, 32
and 34(a) of the Labor Code.
> The cases were dismissed based on the finding that there was no evidence
adduced showing that the agency was involved in the illegal acts.
> Aggrieved by his arrest, petitioner Golangco filed a criminal complaint against
respondent before the Office of the Ombudsman for arbitrary detention and violation
of Section 3, paragraphs (a) and (e) of Republic Act No. 3019.
> An administrative complaint for oppression, abuse of authority, gross inefficiency,
gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct arising from the same incident was
likewise filed against respondent.
> With the Ombudsmans approval of the Information, it was filed to the RTC, was
later referred to the Court of Appeals based on the doctrine laid down in Fabian v.
Hon. Desierto3 which vested in the Court of Appeals the appellate jurisdiction over
decisions of the Ombudsman pertaining to administrative disciplinary cases.
> CA directed the Ombudsman to cause the withdrawal of the information filed with
the RTC, in the criminal case filed against respondent.
> Petitioner Golangco and the Office of the Ombudsman separately filed motions for
reconsideration of the decision. These motions were denied by the Court of Appeals.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA has jurisdiction to review the orders, directives or
decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases?
RULING
NO. The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over orders, directives and
decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases only. It
cannot, therefore, review the orders, directives or decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases.
The appellate court correctly ruled that its jurisdiction extends only to
decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative cases. In the
Fabian case, we ruled that appeals from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman
in administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under

Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. It bears stressing that when we
declared Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6770 as unconstitutional, we categorically
stated that said provision is involved only whenever an appeal by certiorari under
Rule 45 is taken from a decision in an administrative disciplinary action. It cannot be
taken into account where an original action for certiorari under Rule 65 is resorted to
as a remedy for judicial review, such as from an incident in a criminal action.
In the case under consideration, the Court of Appeals, instead of confining itself to
the administrative case appealed before it, reviewed the decision of the Office of the
Ombudsman in OMB-0-93-0407 finding probable cause against respondent. The
Court of Appeals further ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to withdraw the
criminal information filed by the same with the RTC of Manila docketed as Criminal
Case No. 96-149144. Such act by the Court of Appeals cannot be countenanced. It
is settled that a judgment rendered by a court without jurisdiction over the subject
matter is void. Since the Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction over decisions
and orders of the Ombudsman in criminal cases, its ruling on the same is
void.

PEREZ vs OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN


FACTS:
> Petitioners, members of the Kilusang Bayan ng mga Magtitinda ng Bagong
Pamilihang Bayan ng Muntinlupa, Inc. (KBMBPM), instituted two complaints at the
Office of the Ombudsman against several respondents, one of whom was then
Mayor Ignacio R. Bunye, for violation of RA 3019 (also known as the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act). Respondents allegedly destroyed the doors of the KBMBPM
office while serving on petitioners the Take-Over Order of the KBMBPM
management.
> The Office of the Ombudsman issued a resolution excluding respondent Bunye
from the criminal indictment. The petitioners assailed the exclusion in the CA through
an original petition for certiorari and mandamus. The CA, however, dismissed it for
lack of jurisdiction.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA was correct in dismissing the petition for certiorari
and mandamus?
RULING:
YES. The CA was correct in dismissing the petition for certiorari and
mandamus.
It is the nature of the case that determines the proper remedy to be filed and the
appellate court where such remedy should be filed by a party aggrieved by the
decisions or orders of the Office of the Ombudsman. If it is an administrative case,
appeal should be taken to the Court of Appeals under Rule 43 of the Rules of
Court. If it is a criminal case, the proper remedy is to file with the Supreme
Court an original petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
We find that, although the CA was correct in dismissing the petition for certiorari, it
erroneously invoked as ratio decidendi Section 27 of RA 6770 which applies in
administrative cases only, not criminal cases, such as the graft and corruption
charge at bar. In our en banc decision in Fabian vs. Desierto, which is still
controlling, we held that Section 27 applies only whenever an appeal by certiorari
under Rule 45 is taken from a decision in an administrative disciplinary action.
Nevertheless, we declared Section 27 unconstitutional for expanding the Supreme
Courts appellate jurisdiction without its advice and consent. We thus held that all
appeals from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary
cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals.

As the present controversy pertained to a criminal case, the petitioners were correct
in availing of the remedy of petition for certiorari under Rule 65 but they erred in filing
it in the Court of Appeals. The procedure set out in Kuizon vs. Ombudsman and
Mendoza-Arce vs. Ombudsman, requiring that petitions for certiorari
questioning the Ombudsmans orders or decisions in criminal cases should be
filed in the Supreme Court and not the Court of Appeals, is still the prevailing
rule.

ISSUE:

But even if the petition for certiorari had been filed in this Court, we would have
dismissed it just the same. First, petitioners should have filed a motion for
reconsideration of the Ombudsman resolution as it was the plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, not filing a petition for certiorari
directly in the Supreme Court.

YES. The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over orders, directives and
decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases only. It
cannot, therefore, review the orders, directives or decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs HEIRS OF MARGARITA


VENTURA
FACTS:
> Respondents filed with the Office of the Ombudsman a Complaint for Falsification
of Public Documents and Violation of Section 3, paragraph (e) [3] of Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 3019, as amended (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) against
Zenaida H. Palacio and spouses Edilberto and Celerina Darang. Respondents
alleged therein that Palacio, then officer-in-charge of the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR), designated Celerina Darang, Senior Agrarian Reform Program
Technologist to investigate the claims of respondents against the formers husband
Edilberto Darang; that Celerina Darang accepted such designation, conducted an
investigation and rendered a report favorable to her husband, Edilberto Darang; that
Celerina Darang supported such report with public documents which she falsified;
and that Palacios then issued a recommendation, based on Celerina Darangs report,
to award the landholding in dispute to Edilberto Darang.
> Petitioner (Ombudsman) respectfully recommended that the charge against
respondents for falsification of public documents be dismissed for insufficiency of
evidence. It is further recommended that the charge against respondents for
Violation of Section 3, par. (e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, be provisionally
dismissed.
> Respondents filed several motions seeking reconsideration of the above
Resolution, all of which were denied.
> Herein respondents then filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus with this
Court, but it was referred to CA. CA hereby DENIED as to the dismissal of the
complaint against private respondents for falsification of public documents, but
GRANTED as to the provisional dismissal of the complaint for violation of Section 3,
Par. (e) of R.A. 3019, as amended.
> Petitioners motion for reconsideration of the CA Decision which was denied.

Whether or not the CA has no jurisdiction to review the findings of probable


cause by the Ombudsman in a criminal case?
RULING:

It is settled that a judgment rendered by a court without jurisdiction over the subject
matter is void. Since the Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction over decisions and
orders of the Ombudsman in criminal cases, its ruling on the same is void.
The Court emphasized that parties seeking to question the resolutions of the Office
of the Ombudsman in criminal cases or non-administrative cases, may file an
original action for certiorari with this Court, not with the CA, when it is believed that
the Ombudsman acted with grave abuse of discretion.
Thus, aside from the fact that the CA has no jurisdiction over decisions and orders of
the Ombudsman in criminal cases, it was also incorrect to hold that the Ombudsman
acted with grave abuse of discretion. The Court finds no cogent reason to disturb the
assailed Resolution of the Ombudsman.

RODRIGUEZ vs SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS:
> Acting upon an information that rampant illegal logging activities, a joint team
composed of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), the
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), the Philippine
National Police (PNP) Tiniguiban Command, the Bantay Palawan, and the Philippine
Marines confiscated freshly cut/processed ipil lumber at Sitio Maypa, Barangay
Pancol, Taytay. The cutting and sawing of the lumber, which were alleged to have
been done under the supervision of Pancol Barangay Captain upon orders of herein
petitioner Mayor Evelyn Rodriguez and Association of Barangay Captains President
Roberto Rodriguez, were without proper permit or license.
> Due to the unavailability of trucks to haul all the lumber to Puerto Princesa for
safekeeping, some were hauled inside the Rural Agriculture Center (RAC).
> Barangay Captain Rodriguez appeared at the RAC Compound demanding the
release of the lumber by presenting a letter-request addressed to the CENRO. As
the request did not bear the approval of the CENRO, it was denied.
> Pancol Barangay Captain went to the RAC Compound upon orders of Mayor
Rodriguez to haul the lumber to the Municipal Hall, but the officer-in-charge refused
to release the same without the advice of EIIB authorities. Upon the orders of Mayor
Rodriguez, Barangay Captain Abonita returned to the RAC Compound accompanied
by two fully armed policemen who then and there forcibly took possession, hauled,
and transferred the lumber to the Municipal Hall of Taytay.
> complaints for robbery[4] and violation of Section 1(b), P.D. No. 1829 [5] (DECREE
PENALIZING OBSTRUCTION OF APPREHENSION AND PROSECUTION OF
CRIMINAL OFFENDERS) against petitioners Mayor Rodriguez and Barangay
Captain Abonita before the Provincial Prosecution Office of Palawan.
> Deputized Ombudsman Investigator recommended the filing of an information
against petitioners for violation of Section 1(b), P.D. No. 1829, [7] and the forwarding
of the records of the case to the Office of the Ombudsman-Luzon for review and
further proceedings, petitioner Mayor Rodriguez being a public officer and the
charge against her being work-connected.
> The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman did file an information for violation of
Section 1(b) P.D. 1829 on December 8, 1998 against petitioners before the
Sandiganbayan.
> Petitioners additionally question the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, they
arguing that they are not tasked with the enforcement and implementation of P.D.
No. 705 (REVISED FORESTRY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES) as neither of them
are law enforcement officers or prosecutors but are mere executive officials of their
respective local government units with entirely different official functions and, as
such, the accusation against them is not in relation to their office. [33] Petitioners thus
conclude that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
case, as Section 4 of R.A. 8249 limits the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to those
offenses defined and penalized in Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the
Revised Penal Code.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over petitioner Mayor
Rodriguez, who holds a position of Grade 27 under the Local Government Code,
committed the offense charged in relation to her office?
RULING:
YES. Court laid down the principle that for an offense to be committed in
relation to the office, the relation between the crime and the office must be
direct and not accidental, in that in the legal sense, the offense can not exist
without the office.
As an exception, the court held that although public office is not an element of
an offense charged, as long as the offense charged in the information is intimately
connected with the office and is alleged to have been perpetrated while the
accused was in the performance, though improper or irregular, of his official
functions, there being no personal motive to commit the crime and had the
accused would not have committed it had he not held the aforesaid office , the
accused is held to have been indicted for an offense committed in relation to his
office.
In the present case, public office is not an essential element of the offense of
obstruction of justice under Section 1(b) of P.D. 1829. The circumstances
surrounding the commission of the offense alleged to have been committed by
petitioner Rodriguez are such, however, that the offense may not have been
committed had said petitioner not held the office of the mayor. As found during the
preliminary investigation, petitioner Rodriguez, in the course of her duty as Mayor,
who is tasked to exercise general and operational control and supervision over the
local police forces[54], used her influence, authority and office to call and command
members of the municipal police of Taytay to haul and transfer the lumber which was
still subject of an investigation for violation of P.D. 705.
What determines the jurisdiction of a court is the nature of the action pleaded as
appearing from the allegations in the information. The averment in the information
that petitioner Rodriguez, as municipal mayor, took advantage of her office and
caused the hauling of the lumber to the municipal hall to obstruct the investigation of
the case for violation of P.D. 705 effectively vested jurisdiction over the offense on
the Sandiganbayan.

BARRIGA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

ISSUE:

FACTS:

Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the criminal case of
public officer/employee who has salary grade below 27?

> Accused VIRGINIO E. VILLAMOR and DINAH C. BARRIGA, both public officers,
being then the Municipal Mayor and Municipal Accountant, respectively, had in their
possession and custody public funds intended for the payment of Five (5) rolls of
Polyethylene pipes to be used in the Corte-Cantumog Water System Project.
Conniving and confederating together and mutually helping each other, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously misappropriate, take, embezzle and convert
into their own personal use and benefit, and despite demands made upon them to
account for said amount, they have failed to do so, to the damage and prejudice of
the government.
> The third Amended Information, docketed as Criminal Case No. 27437, charged
the same accused with illegal use of public funds.
> The petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the said Amended Informations on the
ground that under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 8294, the Sandiganbayan has no
jurisdiction over the crimes charged. She averred that the Amended Informations
failed to allege and show the intimate relation between the crimes charged and her
official duties as municipal accountant, which are conditions sine qua non for the
graft court to acquire jurisdiction over the said offense.
> Moreover, her position as municipal accountant is classified as Salary Grade (SG)
24.
> Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution denying the motion of the petitioner.
> The petitioner thus filed the instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court, seeking to nullify the aforementioned Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan.
The petitioner claims that the graft court committed grave abuse of its discretion
amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the same.
> Office of the Special Prosecutor posits that any error committed by the
Sandiganbayan in denying the petitioners motion to quash is merely an error of
judgment and not of jurisdiction.
> Furthermore, the crimes of malversation and illegal use of public funds are
classified as crimes committed by public officers in relation to their office, which by
their nature fall within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It insists that there is no
more need for the Amended Informations to specifically allege intimacy between the
crimes charged and the office of the accused since the said crimes can only be
committed by public officers. It further claims that the petitioner has been charged of
malversation and illegal use of public funds in conspiracy with Municipal Mayor
Virginio E. Villamor, who occupies a position classified as SG 27; and even if the
petitioners position as municipal accountant is only classified as SG 24, under
Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 8249, the Sandiganbayan still has jurisdiction over the said
crimes.

RULING.
YES. We agree with the ruling of the Sandiganbayan that based on the
allegations of the Amended Informations and Rep. Act No. 8249, it has original
jurisdiction over the crimes of malversation and illegal use of public funds.
Sandiganbayan has original jurisdiction over crimes and felonies committed by
public officers and employees, at least one of whom belongs to any of the five
categories thereunder enumerated at the time of the commission of such crimes.
There are two classes of public office-related crimes under subparagraph (b)
of Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 8249: first, those crimes or felonies in which the
public office is a constituent element as defined by statute and the relation between
the crime and the offense is such that, in a legal sense, the offense committed
cannot exist without the office; second, such offenses or felonies which are
intimately connected with the public office and are perpetrated by the public officer or
employee while in the performance of his official functions, through improper or
irregular conduct.
We agree with the ruling of the Sandiganbayan that the public office of the accused
Municipal Mayor Virginio E. Villamor is a constituent element of malversation and
illegal use of public funds or property. Accused mayors position is classified as SG
27. Since the Amended Informations alleged that the petitioner conspired with her
co-accused, the municipal mayor, in committing the said felonies, the fact that her
position as municipal accountant is classified as SG 24 and as such is not an
accountable officer is of no moment; the Sandiganbayan still has exclusive original
jurisdiction over the cases lodged against her. It must be stressed that a public
officer who is not in charge of public funds or property by virtue of her official
position, or even a private individual, may be liable for malversation or illegal use of
public funds or property if such public officer or private individual conspires with an
accountable public officer to commit malversation or illegal use of public funds or
property.
The Court has also ruled that a private person conspiring with an accountable public
officer in committing malversation is also guilty of malversation .
We reiterate that the classification of the petitioners position as SG 24 is of no
moment. The determinative fact is that the position of her co-accused, the municipal
mayor, is classified as SG 27, and under the last paragraph of Section 2 of Rep. Act
No. 7975, if the position of one of the principal accused is classified as SG 27, the
Sandiganbayan has original and exclusive jurisdiction over the offense.

ORGANO vs SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS:
> Accused being then public officers and taking advantage of their official positions
as employees of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, conspiring, confabulating and
confederating with one another, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and criminally
amass and acquire funds belonging to the National Government by opening an
unauthorized bank account, without proper authority, through checks made payable
to themselves and/or the sole proprietorship firms of the above named private
persons, thereby succeeding in misappropriating, converting, misusing and/or
malversing said public funds tantamount to a raid on the public treasury, to their own
personal gains, advantages and benefits, to the damage and prejudice of the
government in the aforestated amount.
> Petitioner filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion to quash information for lack of
jurisdiction, contending that the Sandiganbayan no longer had jurisdiction over the
case under R. A. 8249, approved on February 5, 1997.
> Sandiganbayan issued a resolution denying petitioner's motion to quash.
> Petitioner filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion for reconsideration, reiterating the
ground of lack of jurisdiction over the case but subsequently denied.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan at the time of the filing of the information
on August 15, 1997 had jurisdiction over the case, in view of the enactment on
February 5, 1997 of Republic Act No. 8249 (vesting in the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction
over offenses and felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by
public officers and employees mentioned in subsection (a) of Section 4 in relation to their
office where the accused holds a position with salary grade "27" and higher under the
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.)?

RULING:
NO. Petitioner contends that since none of the accused holds a position with
Salary Grade "27" and higher, jurisdiction over the case falls with the Regional Trial
Court. On the other hand, respondent Sandiganbayan's position is that Republic Act
No. 7080 which defines and penalizes the crime of "plunder" vests in the
Sandiganbayan jurisdiction thereof, and since it is a special law, it constitutes an
exception to the general law.
However, the crime of "plunder" defined in Republic Act No. 7080, as amended by
Republic Act No. 7659, was provisionally placed within the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan "until otherwise provided by law." Republic Act No. 8429, enacted on
February 5, 1997 is the special law that provided for the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan "otherwise" than that prescribed in Republic Act No. 7080.

Consequently, we rule that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the


crime of plunder unless committed by public officials and employees
occupying the positions with Salary Grade "27" or higher, under the
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758)
in relation to their office.
In ruling in favor of its jurisdiction, even though none of the accused occupied
positions with Salary Grade 27 or higher under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), the Sandiganbayan incurred in
serious error of jurisdiction, entitling petitioner to the relief prayed for.
The Court orders the Sandiganbayan to forthwith refer the case to the court of
proper jurisdiction.

INDING vs SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS:
> Information was filed with the Sandiganbayan charging petitioner Ricardo S.
Inding, a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City, with violation of
Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019.
> Accused Ricardo S. Inding, a high-ranking public officer, being a Councilor of
Dapitan City and as such, while in the performance of his official functions,
particularly in the operation against drug abuse, with evident bad faith and manifest
partiality, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and criminally, faked buy-bust
operations against alleged pushers or users to enable him to claim or collect from
the coffers of the city government.
> The petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion [4] for the dismissal of the case for lack of
jurisdiction over the officers charged or, in the alternative, for the referral of the case
either to the Regional Trial Court or the Municipal Trial Court for appropriate
proceedings.
> Respondent Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution denying the petitioners omnibus
motion. According to the court, the Information alleged that the petitioner has a
salary grade of 27.
> The respondents, through the Office of the Special Prosecutor, contend that
Section 4 a.(1)(b) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975,
expressly provides that the Sandiganbayan has original jurisdiction over violations of
Rep. Act No. 3019, as amended, committed by the members of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod, without qualification and regardless of salary grade.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over criminal case of a
public official occupying a position as a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod
who was charged with violation of Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019, otherwise
known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act regardless of their salary grade?

RULING:
YES. In this connection too, it is well to state that the lawmakers are very
well aware that not all the positions specifically mentioned as those within the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan have a Salary Grade of 27 and
higher. Yet, the legislature has explicitly made the officials so enumerated in RA No.
7975 and RA No. 8249 as falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan because of the nature of these officials functions and responsibilities
as well as the power they can wield over their respective area of jurisdiction.
For purposes of determining the government officials that fall within the
original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases involving violations of Rep.
Act No. 3019 and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, Rep. Act
No. 7975 has grouped them into five categories, to wit:
(1)
Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director
and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher. . .
(2)
Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade 27 and up
under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;
(3)
Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the
Constitution;
(4)
Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to
the provisions of the Constitution; and
(5)
All other national and local officials classified as Grade 27 and higher under
the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.
With respect to the first category, i.e., officials of the executive branch with SG 27 or
higher, Rep. Act No. 7975 further specifically included the following officials as
falling within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan:
(a)
Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang
panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial
department heads;
(b)
City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city
treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads;
(c)
Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and
higher;

(d)
Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of
higher rank;
(e)
PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank;
(f)
City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and
prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor;
(g)
Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or
controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations;
The specific inclusion of the foregoing officials constitutes an exception to the
general qualification relating to officials of the executive branch as occupying
the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27
and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. In other
words, violation of Rep. Act No. 3019 committed by officials in the executive branch
with SG 27 or higher, and the officials specifically enumerated in (a) to (g) of Section
4 a.(1) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, regardless
of their salary grades, likewise fall within the original jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan.
That the legislators intended to include certain public officials, regardless of their
salary grades, within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is apparent from
the legislative history of both Rep. Acts Nos. 7975 and 8249.
In this case, there is no dispute that the petitioner is a member of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of Dapitan City and he is charged with violation of Section 3 (e) of Rep.
Act No. 3019. Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod are specifically included as
among those within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in Section 4 a.(1)
(b) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, [41] or even
Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 8249 [42] for that matter. The Sandiganbayan, therefore, has
original jurisdiction over the petitioners case